• Storefront Arts et Lumières with MailDrop, Mr. Bringas and the lamps colleensparis.com
    Let's Explore,  Neighborhoods,  Shopping/FleaMarkets/Organic

    Finding Treasure Around the Corner in the Bastille

    Have you ever wanted a specific, stylish item? And you searched until you found it? My search was for finding the hanging lamp treasure that would fit in with my 1890s library ceiling. No flea market was needed. The treasure was literally, around the corner from my apartment in the Bastille. I looked through the window of a vintage lamp store. After 27 years, I finally pushed open the door of Arts et Lumières, looked around, looked up and fell in love. Once I made the decision about buying the lamp, I took my time. Uuntil one day, the signs Tout doit Disparaitre (Everything Must Go) and Déstockage Massif (Clearance…

  • Artisans_Workshop_Tassin_Cuir @colleensparis.com @tassincuir La Maison Tassin
    Let's Explore,  Life in Paris & France,  Neighborhoods

    Life in Paris: Tassin Leather Continues an Upholstery Tradition

    Paris neighbourhoods have gone through gentrification significantly in the 2000s. Along Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine n the Bastille is no exception. The furniture manufactures and sales offices have given way to clothing and sports stores. There is hope, however, because La Maison Tassin Cuir (leather) continues an upholstery tradition. Their story includes drama. In 2015, a fire destroyed the company’s artisan workshops. Livelihood, unfinished orders from distant lands and their leather went up in flames. Like a phoenix, however, the Tassin company mobilised and moved into adjoining buildings. The former display room became the workshop. The business offices moved to another neighbourhood. Soon, by relative time standards, the salvaged tools…

  • Pere Noël-Father Christmas-Santa Clause at the Bastille, Paris, France
    Christmas,  Let's Explore

    Father Christmas at the Bastille in Paris

    One day walking through the Bastille plaza, I saw the Christmas trees being set up around the green July column. By the next evening, purple was once again the sparkling color lighting up the Bastille July column. For the Christmas holiday, Pere Noël was riding the merry-go-round and another day he was dancing with a marching band. Every day is different in the Bastille!

  • View from Louis XIII statue Place des Vosges on Vik Muniz's Pictures of Garbage
    Photography-Art,  Seeing Paris

    Paris Design Week is Too Short!

    While taking a shortcut through Place des Vosges, my eyes saw photographs. They really saw pictures of garbage. Place des Vosges is on annual exhibition circuit for Paris Design Week. Paris Design Week is too short! Over 350 exhibitors and I only saw three in two days! "Pictures of Garbage", new types of flooring in a bench display, and artsy designs in the Orangerie. You can't just pass on by, you have to stay and study and enjoy!

  • A Snow day in Paris Snowman at the Louvre Carrousel
    Let's Explore,  Life in Paris & France

    One Day When It Snowed in Paris

    One day last week the blackbirds (merles in French) were chirping away in a choral cacophony of song at at 5:30 am. I wondered if springtime was around the corner -- in mid-January! That springtime moment was short-lived. Thirty-two departments, including Paris and Ile-de-France, were placed under snow warnings. Saturday was going to be a snow day in Paris. Météo-France and our Echo-dot, Alexa, confirmed that the snow would begin by 11 am Saturday.

  • Galeries Lafayette Christmas decorations customers on the plank
    Christmas,  Going Out

    Noël Christmas Voyage in Paris

    Paris Sparkles during the Holidays. Take a Paris Voyage with Colleen's Paris on small street of the Bastille, the department store decorations and rooftops, watch the lights come up on the Champs-Elysées and see Avenue Montaigne lit up, a carrousel in the Tuileries Garden and be mystified at the blue velvet column of the Bastille.